A brain tumor is an abnormal cell growth or mass in the brain.
There are many distinct forms of brain tumors. Some brain tumors are benign (noncancerous), while others are cancerous (malignant). Brain cancers may start in the brain (primary brain tumors), or they can start elsewhere in the body and move to the brain (metastatic brain tumors).
The rate at which a brain tumor develops varies substantially. The pace of development of a brain tumor and its location define how it will influence the functioning of your neurological system.
The kind of brain tumor you have, and its size and location, influence your treatment choices.
What is a brain tumor?
A collection or mass of unusual cells in the brain is what medical professionals refer to as a brain tumor. Your brain is contained inside your skull, an extremely solid structure. Any development inside such a confined location has the potential to produce difficulties.
Brain tumors may be cancerous (also known as malignant) or benign (non-cancerous). The pressure within your skull can get higher if you have benign or malignant tumors growing. This has the potential to cause damage to the brain, which may be life-threatening.
The following are the distinguishing characteristics between primary and secondary forms of brain cancer:
- Your brain is the site of origin for a primary brain tumor. There are several types of benign primary brain tumors.
- Cancer cells that have moved to your brain from another organ, such as your lung or breast, have developed a secondary brain tumor, which is also referred to by its other name, a metastatic brain tumor.
Read More – Can Brain Tumor Cured Permanently?
What causes a brain tumor?
Researchers are aware that brain tumors form when certain genes on the chromosomes of a cell are disrupted and no longer function correctly; however, they do not fully understand why this occurs. Your DNA, which is included in your chromosomes, is responsible for communicating instructions to all of the cells in your body, including when to grow, when to divide or multiply, and/or when to die.
When DNA in brain cells is altered, new instructions are sent to the brain cells. As a result, your body produces brain cells that are abnormal, meaning they grow and increase at a quicker rate than usual and occasionally survive for a longer period than normal. When this takes place, the ever-growing population of aberrant cells in your brain begins to take up the available space.
A person can be born with a modification in one or more of these genes under certain circumstances. Environmental variables, such as exposure to huge levels of radiation from X-rays or past treatment for cancer, might then lead to more damage if they are present.
In other instances, the mutagenic effects of the environment on the genes could be the primary explanation.
There are a few uncommon inherited genetic disorders related to brain tumors. These syndromes are handed down from parent to child. These syndromes include:
- Gorlin syndrome (PTCH gene)
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome (TP53 gene)
- Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1 gene)
- Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2 gene)
- Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC1 and TSC2 genes)
- Turcot syndrome (APC gene)
Risk factors for brain tumor
The likelihood of developing a brain tumor may be affected by a number of variables, which the medical community has recognized. The following are some of them:
- Radiation exposure: Ionizing radiation puts a person at a greater chance of developing a brain tumor, and those who have been exposed to it have a higher risk overall. Radiation therapy, which is used in the treatment of cancer, and radiation exposure, which is generated by atomic bombs, are both examples of ionizing radiation.
- Family history: Persons who have a history of brain tumors in their family or a history of genetic disorders that enhance the risk of brain tumors in their family make up a tiny percentage of people who develop brain tumors.
- Age: The likelihood of developing almost any brain tumor increases with increasing age.
- Chemical exposure: Your chance of developing brain cancer may rise if you are exposed to specific chemicals, such as those you could encounter in a working setting.
How is a brain tumor treated?
The method of treatment for a brain tumor will be dependent on the following factors:
- The specific type of the tumor
- The size of the tumor
- The location of the tumor inside the body
- Your body’s overall condition
Surgery is the primary mode of therapy for malignant brain tumors in the majority of cases. The objective is to eliminate as much of the cancerous tissue as is practicable without inflicting any harm to the good portions of the brain.
Some cancers may be positioned in an area that makes it possible to remove them safely, while other tumors may be located in an area that restricts the amount of the tumor removed. Even removing a portion of the cancerous growth from the brain may be helpful.
Infection and bleeding are two of the dangers associated with brain surgery. A surgical removal is an option for benign tumors that pose a clinical risk. The treatment for metastatic brain tumors often follows the protocols outlined for the patient’s primary malignancy.
It is possible to combine surgical treatment with other forms of care, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Surgical treatment may also be combined with other types of care.
After undergoing neurosurgery, you may benefit from speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy as part of your recovery process.
Can you reduce your risk of a brain tumor?
If you want to lower your chances of having a brain tumor, you should avoid environmental hazards like smoking and exposing yourself to excessive radiation.
You must communicate with your healthcare practitioner if you have a brother or a parent who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. In this case, you are a first-degree biological related. They may advise you to get genetic counselling to determine whether or not you have an inherited genetic condition linked to brain tumors.
Dr. Eshan Nerkar
Neurologist And NeurosuegeonDr. Eshan Nerkar, Consultant Brain & Spine Surgeon in Nashik specializes in Spine Surgery. He practices at AXON Brain & Spine Clinic. He is one of the best neurosurgeons in Nashik with more than 10 years of experience. He has performed more than 1000 surgeries related to brain and spinal surgery procedures.